Category: DISHOOM (page 1 of 2)

Gold leaf lettering on glass or on panels – what it means

Gold leaf lettering on glass or on panels – what it means

Vintage gilding NGS London



NGS – We just Love Gold Leaf

Yep interesting… what does it mean for anyone investing big money into a gilded piece of front of house ID?

It means firstly that they want to say I am Quality… probably one of the best.  I am better than anyone else who doesn’t have Gold.

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It probably also says they are madly in love with what they do and have a passion overflow for this whole idea of product beauty and self worth.  The sense of self worth is what top drawer have in common and that can be the guy in Brockley or Bond Street.


But hang on the guy in Brockley has just as much pride and love as Prada or the other diamond chip traders! Yes that’s true but to be honest I wouldn’t suggest gold leaf for a local cafe because it wouldn’t suit en masse. It would be too bling where what might be better is wide catch warmth from design.  The price-tag won’t be far off yet the business would prosper… enough with good choice colour – back to gold then.

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Gold leaf fine lettering NGS superior sign gilding!! gilding London Urban distressed gold leaf lettering Soho London by Nick Garrett of NGS

Working with the finest materials is a dream and in many ways laying on size and burnishing in gold is a lot easier than 2 coats of enamel, and quite often I use white gold to back up lettering on glass which adds luminosity and durability.

A lot of newbies just love jumping in the deep end and getting gilding before they have mastered the basics, much to the annoyance of the old guard. I can see the attraction: the prestige, the higher earnings, the tag gilder all represent the essence of the craft of signwriting.

I’ve got ex student who are so obsessed with the stuff that they have created their own niche, tight methodology for glass gilding which is genuinely impressive. And yes sometimes their shapes are shit!! But sometimes my gilding is shit so who gives… we are all human.

The equipment and quirks have their own allure to: the Smith tip, Badger tip, Studdon gild method, Bermuda gild, Chicago, it goes on… refinements that really seem to matter.

In Ink We Trust Glass gilder Nick Garrett signwriter

But what really matters is that we have dozens of talented guys that have the passion for this stuff and 5 years ago there were only 5 of us in London slinging leaf.

Rejoice, keep it rolling!! Make gold your own special craft skill and start to create your own mysterious legend.

Kiru NGS fine signs London Reverse glass gilding Nick Garrett NGS London UK Nick Garrett Gold Leaf signs London Glass-gilding-NGS-London-1024x235 Gilding Footes London

What does it all mean?

Quality and matching ambition between client and artist… to say nothing of a deeply beautiful UK-London again.


Nick Garrett


Next article coming up – the Classic Cafe sign


Dishoom Shoreditch High St – emerging case history, fantastic fun! NGS

The new Shoreditch Dishoom is really a spectacular blend of CEO Shamil’s wistful family poetry, rich, quirky on retro trend design and simply fantastic gastronomy.

And if you think that’s a mouthful wait til you see the menu… and our signwriting!!


In the heart of London this hand painted window set is a stunner with the original vintage 1920’s Bombay font extracted by Nick Garrett from an vintage cafe sign (below) and embellished into it’s new typographic context. Some of the new characters I created taking reference from the original but launching into the quirky eccentric.

Above:  artwork prepared by NGS for the production of full sized layouts (Output – Original Copy Center Lond UK )

But it’s been pretty tough though!… arriving on site to hand paint the glass the dimensions supplied were all out and the windows were 25mm double glazed! That meant the drawing we would use to trace our lettering was 32mm away from the surface needed to be written on the outer sheet of plate glass… in effect we were writing on an invisible floating plain inside the shop!

The normal brush controls went out the window! Literally … and after serious eye-strain, double vision and a panic attack Mat and I found things gradually improving as our technique accommodated this incredibly odd and challenging work environment.

At the helm the Dishoom creative team and CEO Shamil Thakrar.

Stay posted for the result as it looks good -dash- stunning…

For all your quality brand sign enquiries talk to NGS

Nick or Pamela:  contacts


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